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E3: Dell , AT&T, More Game Makers Partner With OnLive
E3: Dell , AT&T, More Game Makers Partner With OnLive Exclusive
June 15, 2010 | By Kris Graft

June 15, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC, E3, Exclusive

Cloud-based gaming service OnLive has yet to launch, but the new venture is wasting no time in striking partnerships that aim to show it’s the real deal.

The company announced Tuesday during E3 week that it is partnering with AT&T, which will support a free year of OnLive for founding subscribers. OnLive launches on June 17 for qualified pre-registered PC and Mac users, as the service begins its measured ramp-up.

The limited-time AT&T deal includes the free initial year and an optional second year at $4.95 per month. The AT&T “Founding Member Program” will accept signups from 3 p.m. EDT on June 15 through 3 p.m. EDT July 15, 2010.

At launch, OnLive will host more than 20 titles, including Assassin’s Creed II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Borderlands, Dragon Age: Origins, Just Cause 2, Mass Effect 2, NBA 2K10, Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell Conviction.

Upcoming games include Aliens vs. Predator, Alpha Protocol, Assasssin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Darksiders, Deus Ex 3, Driver San Francisco, Fear 3, Homefront, Kain & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Lego Harry Potter, Years 1-4, MLB 2K10, Red Faction: Armageddon and Shaun White Skateboarding. OnLive said over 25 publishing partners now support the service.

While the service launches this week, the company said that the MicroConsole adapter, which will allow users to use OnLive on television sets, is due to arrive at a later date.

In addition, the company said that it partnered with computer manufacturer Dell, which has helped OnLive for “several years” on custom servers for OnLive.

Gamasutra's full interview with OnLive founder Steve Perlman on the service's ramp-up and launch is now available.

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Ben Shutt
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One thing he neglects to say in the interview, which is hidden away in OnLive Account FAQ is that an account can only be suspended for a year. After that your account is closed, which means that you lose everything associated with your account. This means that you either have to reactivate your account for a month, paying the subscription fee, once a year, or risk losing everything. This could be a problem if you were to move to an area without access to the service, have a baby, went abroad, or anything else that would either not allow you to access the service or not give you enough free time to play your games.

Also, according to the Getting Started FAQ, they "expect" to keep all games up indefinitely, but they only guarantee a minimum of 3 years for the games to be available, which is not very long since the Xbox 360 has already been around for 5 years. This means that if they decide after the initial 3 years that it is no longer profitable to them to keep one or more of your games available, they can remove the game without your consent. This is further exemplified by the fact that you never buy a game. You get either get a 3-day, 5-day, or full pass to access the game.

Finally when he talks about the pricing he says that people who are already signed up get the first year free and the second year for $4.95/month. He speaks about there being more promotions, but he says he is not sure if it will work out that way.

He compares the subscription fee to Xbox Live Gold, but the major difference between the two is that you do not need Xbox Live Gold to access your games. Also he says that Xbox Live Gold is more expensive than OnLive and that your locked into a whole year. The problem with that is that you can easily do month-by-month with Xbox Live Gold, and stop using it for years and still have all your games and data, which is the same as the suspesion of your account in OnLive, except that you do not lose your profile, games, and other data after a year. This would mean that Xbox Live Gold is superior in this respect, not inferior. In respect to the pricing, he says that OnLive is cheaper ($3.04 cheaper by month), but that is just in respect to the month-by-month pricing. Xbox Live Gold is $49.99 a year (about $4.17/month), while OnLive is $59.40 for an entire year. That is $9.41 more expensive that Xbox Live Gold, which means that OnLive is only cheaper on a month by month basis.

This does not even factor into what is provided with the service. OnLive, according to their Getting Started FAQ, provides an Arena, Profile, Marketplace, Coming Soon, My Games (obviously), Last Played, Brag Clip Videos, Friends, and Dashboard. All of these except the Arena and Brag Clip Videos are given to you for free on Xbox Live Silver. The Arena/Online-Play are provided by both services if you play. Brag Clips are not provided by Xbox Live Silver/Gold, but it does provide access to facebook, tv shows, movies, twitter, free unlimited netflix(if you have any kind of netflix subscription),, and possibly Hulu in the near future.

Evan Combs
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There is absolutely nothing good about cloud computing. When you put everything into a subscription you are always at risk of losing everything if you don't play exactly by their rules.

Also it shouldn't surprise anyone that AT&T is backing this. If this stuff catches on it means lots of money for AT&T and other internet providers. If people need On Live to play games they need to pay for internet, and internet providers can put caps on how much information you can download. Video needs lots of bandwidth, meaning it is more likely people would need to upgrade their subscriptions in order to stay under that bytes cap.

Also if you think about it, in the long term this really isn't any cheaper for the majority of people. Over a 5 year period you are going to be spending $300 on a subscription. If you consider that console cycles are going to be getting longer the average person will spend more in a similar time period for On Live than they would for a console during this cycles time period.

I really don't understand why people love giving all their information and software to a corporation to care for it. It doesn't make any logical sense. Most of these corporations will try to legally screw you over where ever possible, so why would you trust them with everything?